Head coach Dragan Stojkovic will make a late decision on star strikers Aleksandar Mitrovic before SerbiaWorld Cup qualification against the Irish Republic in Dublin.
The 26-year-old Fulham frontman sustained a facial injury in Group A’s 4-1 win against Luxembourg on Saturday, in which he scored two goals, increasing his record for the season so far to seven goals in just four games.
If he makes it to the pitch at Aviva Stadium, Mitrovic, who also scored a double against Ireland in Belgrade in March, will pose a great threat to the Republic’s hopes of belatedly breathing life into their attempts to make it to the finals Stojkovic couldn’t be happier to have him available.
When asked why the former Newcastle shooter was so effective, he said with a smile: “Because I’m good. He’s finally found a great coach.”
Stojkovic added: “He has quality as a striker and there is no doubt that he has quality for the Premier League.
Aleksandar Mitrovic in action for Fulham (Ashley Western / PA)
“He’s a very great professional and he’s very focused on his role, he works really hard for the team. His quality and movement in the box are incredible.”
Mitrovic’s goals at the weekend put him to 43 for his country and set his own national record.
When asked why that was so, Stojkovic said: “First of all, we try to play very attractive and very offensive football, and every striker in the world likes that, not just Mitrovic. So maybe he is really very motivated to do his best. “
“Ultimately, he’s a striker who really enjoys being around. I don’t know how it works at Fulham, but every time he comes to the national team he plays the style of football that we want to convey to the public.” , I think he likes it, it feels very comfortable.
“This is my opinion.”
⏰ RESULTS ⏰
🔝 Best performance? #WCQ pic.twitter.com/PeUlTo3d3w
– European Qualifiers (@ EURO2020) September 4, 2021
Serbia are currently leading the group from Portugal on goal difference and with only one automatic qualifying spot to be won, Ireland is determined to leave with another three points to maintain its high position.
Stojkovic said: “Yes, we came here to win. We know it will be a very difficult game, but we believe in our football and believe that we can take another three points.”
“Of course, if you want a team to go far, you have to win. It’s difficult, but we’ll try to do our best.”